LA Galaxy Ready for Showdown in Salt Lake

March 24, 2011

Carson, CA -- After tying the Revolution 1-1 in a rain-filled Sunday game in which Los Angeles was stripped of a second goal by the officials, the Galaxy regrouped Thursday at the Home Depot Center before the team's trip to Utah for this Saturday’s matchup with Real Salt Lake.

Thursday’s practice saw most of the roster participating, including Juan Pablo Angel, Omar Gonzalez, and Donovan Ricketts, all of whom recently have dealt with injuries and illness. Noticeably absent from practice was Landon Donovan, thanks to an international fixture between the USA and Argentina that was inexplicably scheduled for this Saturday as well.

Donovan’s teammates expressed their support as he prepares to play with the U.S. national team this week, and proclaimed their confidence in their ability to play well versus Real Salt Lake. However, they also voiced their displeasure over having a scheduling conflict with an international friendly.

A luxury of being the LA Galaxy is that even without having the icon of American soccer on the field this Saturday, the Galaxy will still field a formidable team with stars David Beckham and Juan Pablo Angel, and other quality players such as Juninho, Chris Birchall, Omar Gonzalez, and Sean Franklin.

Still, LA will have their hands full going up against an elite team, as the Galaxy lost the 2009 MLS Cup by a single penalty kick to a Real Salt Lake squad featuring Kyle Beckerman, goalkeeper Nick Rimando (who is questionable), and striker Fabian Espindola.

The Galaxy looked prepared and focused at practice this week, displaying the demeanor of a team that expects to produce a winning effort. In addition, the players seemed eager to show that they are capable of performing despite the absence of Donovan.

The Galaxy certainly will not have any shortage of motivation, as they will be looking to keep their early first-place position in the Western Conference, and will be aiming to beat a squad that defeated them in the teams’ last 2010 meeting with a questionable goal in the 80th minute.

David Beckham will wear the captain’s armband on Saturday, and stated at practice that he is "proud to wear the armband and looking forward to it." Beckham and the Galaxy now look to gain the upper-hand and some payback in their rivalry with Real Salt Lake.

By Brian Kowalski
Staff Reporter for

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